Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Detroit/Belle Isle Year X GC5JDGR

Spring!  Spring is here!  Or so the calendar says.  Mother Nature has a sense of humor.  These were my thoughts as TaGeez and I were heading out to the Belle Isle X event, fresh snow encircling my car.  But luckily, although cold, we had a beautiful day for an event!

This is the tenth annual event, hosted by the Belle Isle Cachers (Rattrak, Brummelbear, and Team Rumble), located on Michigan's newest State Park.  The isle is a wonder - beautiful views, historical buildings designed by famed Albert Kahn, with new walking paths recently added by the state. It has a multitude of terrains: large, glacial boulders sitting precariously over the fast-moving river, wooded nature trails, wetlands, lakes, and golf courses.

Windsor (L) - Ambassador Bridge - Detroit (R)
And a nice variety of caches: 7 Puzzles, 7 Multis, 1 Letterbox, and 30 Traditionals.  For those who didn't finish last year, for one day only both the 45 old and 45 new caches are available.  This year's cache theme was car company's located in Detroit (not including the "Big 3").

In addition to several hundred of our friends from Michigan, Ontario, Ohio, and afar, were members of Team Free Range Lobsters (scrapcat, TaGeez, WikidKriket, and 3inaTree).  Team FRL won 3 chances as FTF during the raffle, but, alas, as they were so far apart, we happily grabbed #17 and called it a victory.

Yes, it was above my head. Yes, almost missed it.
#17 - FTF!
We decided to start on the Eastern peninsula accompanied by Mrs YellowJeeperman.  Can you see the mini icebergs behind her?  Much of the ice has melted, but you could still see large chunks floating by.

Mrs YellowJeeperman

TaGeez found a cool place to hang out

Mrs 3inaTree with WikidKriket
Good thing we weren't on a numbers run.  So much jocularity and very little searching, but we made clean work of the peninsula.

Team Free Range Lobsters:
WikidKriket, TaGeez, scrapcat, and 3inaTree

Can you believe Jen signed on for this?
Ok, there's a story behind this.  Have you seen these pictures in the past?  TaGeez and WikidKriket were trying to scare me by shaking the bridge.  Uh, guys?  I'm not on the bridge. Who do you think is taking the picture?

WikidKriket and TaGeez

New peninsula bridge
Can you see the ice sheets in the bay?

And... um... what are you doing?

The boys looking on in disbelief

Good shot of 3inaTree

Mrs. YellowJeeperman, Kriket and 3inaTree
Livingstone Memorial Lighthouse (the only all-marble lighthouse
in North America) in the background
Lunch was an enjoyable potluck, hosted by the Belle Isle Cachers.  Leo (Brummelbear) manned the grill - nothing tastier that warm hot dogs cooked by someone else on a biting cold day.

Afterwards, Team FRL headed off to Albert Kahn's Casino for a nice puzzle cache.  This is not a modern, Detroit casino - no gambling here.  It's the antiquated term for gathering place.

The new Shinola timepiece in front of the Casino

Puzzle final takes us across the red bridge
We made pretty decent work on the puzzles and traditionals in the middle of the Isle.  We decided to save the Western rocks and wetlands for a warmer April

Windsor (L) - Detroit (R)
See the ice drifts?

The sun is finally coming out so we get our second wind. We decided to knock out the Southern (below) and Northern piers before we end our day.

Southern Pier Multi

Starting point for the only Letterbox - a LARGE!

Team FRL hunting a regular at the Northern pier

TaGeez, WikidKriket and 3inaTree
Today was not about the numbers.  It was about spending the day with people as weird as you are.

Sore, cold, muddy... we celebrate!  Topped off the day meeting SnakeyLicks at M Brew in Ferndale. Yum, they had a house root beer.  

Of course, we were plotting our return for a (somewhat) warmer April.

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